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Lynam v. Vorwerk

Court of Appeal of California
110 P. 355 (1910)


Facts

Gottlieb and Karolina Damkroeger were married when, in September 1899, together, they executed a document with the German Savings and Loan Society providing that the funds on deposit in an account there could be subsequently withdrawn by either Gottlieb or Karolina without the approval of the other party. No other paperwork or evidence regarding this account was located. Gottlieb passed away in 1903. Following Gottlieb's death, Karolina withdrew the funds from the account but did not account for any portion of the funds as assets of Gottlieb's estate. Karolina died in 1907. Ms. Lynam (plaintiff), the administratrix of the estate of Gottlieb Damkroeger brought an action against Mr. Vorwerk (defendant), the executor of the will of Karolina Damkroeger, for one-half of the proceeds of the account under the theory that the account was community property. The executor’s defense was that the account was a joint account with a right of survivorship. The trial court entered judgment on behalf of the administratrix and denied the executor's motion for a new trial. The executor appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Cooper, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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